North Florida NewsDaily:

Is this the year you become a small business owner? Whether your job security is in question because of a shaky economy or you’re eager to take the leap into being an entrepreneur, you may be ready to make a New Year’s resolution for financial fitness and career satisfaction.

Two top reasons people decide to start their own business are: to change their work situation or to escape a dissatisfying job. One of the easiest ways to be your own boss is to own a franchise.

When you own a franchise, you’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself. Parent companies provide a built-in support system so you’re not in the dark. Most provide comprehensive training that allows you to build your new business on a solid foundation.

Franchises offer a proven business model, name recognition and brand awareness – so you’re not starting out establishing those things on your own. Additionally, your investment is usually lower, your start-up time quicker and your supply lines already established.

Franchises are often a wonderful opportunity, particularly if you live in a rural or outlying community as these areas are often under-served by franchises. Outer ring suburbs or rural communities typically offer less expensive land and franchise owners can take advantage of a unique niche in the market.

State and local governments are increasingly investing in outlying and rural communities and generous tax advantages are often available to franchise owners starting a business there. Once established, locally owned franchises can quickly become a vital part of a smaller community.

One such success story belongs to Mark and Maureen Schopp who own three Snap Fitness franchises in small towns in Missouri. “The Snap Fitness business model was so simple, I didn’t have to invent anything,” says Mark Schopp.